Requirements & Grading
30% Paper commentaries: Students should submit short commentary of each reading using the online submission system (in this format). Commentaries are due by 7:00am the day of class; late commentaries will not be accepted. Students are required to do all the readings, but are only required to submit a commentary for those marked on the syllabus.
We will ignore the four lowest-scoring commentaries while grading you. This implies each student may opt to pass on four commentaries for any reason (personal or family matters, conflicting deadlines, etc.); there are no exemptions beyond this. This limit is for the number of commentaries you miss-- if you skip a day that requires two commentaries, you will miss two commentaries. These exempted commentaries should be specifically noted as being passed on. Commentaries will be graded on a check-plus/check/check-minus scale.
25% In-class contributions: 10% general participation; 15% (co-)leading one class discussion. For details on how to structure a discussion, go here. On their discussion day, students should submit their materials instead of their commentary using the online submission system. In evaluating your discussion, the course staff will ask the following questions:
- Did you effectively extract the high-level points from readings and present them?
- Did you raise interesting and difficult questions about the readings?
- Did you clearly review, describe, and summarize the paper's main technical contributions? If there is an important algorithm, you should explain how it works. If there are statistics, you should explain how any why they were produced.
- Did the discussion accomplish valuable learning goals for the students? (i.e., did understand something about the readings at the end of class that may not have at the beginning.)
- Did you engage the students in discussion?
- Did you incorporate students' ideas from their commentaries into the discussion?
45% Research project: Students will complete a quarter-long mini-research project in groups of two. We encourge students to choose projects that are related to their own research or another research project on campus. Leveraging ongoing research increases your speed and ability to find define a good project, and enables you to leverage existing software and hardware infrastructure. The grade for this portion will be broken up as follows:
20% Concept & Execution: The strength of the research problem (i.e., do pick something that's research, not just development) and appropriateness of the scope (i.e., don't pick something too large — it's only a 10-week quarter.) Is it executed in ways necessary to understand your research question? (It doesn't need to be functional in ways orthogonal to your research question.)
15% Study: How well did you figure out what you set out to learn?
10% Final Presentation & Report: Explanation of your ideas, motivation, and related work.In general, both members of the team will receive the same grade. However, if there is a significant contribution disparity, that will be reflected in the grade.